Stifel Nabs Brokers Managing $900 Million from Merrill, Wells Fargo
(Story updated in 10th paragraph with Merrill team in Colorado joining independent firm Sanctuary Wealth.)
In a second sign in as many weeks that it has resumed its pandemic-interrupted process of recruiting, Stifel Financial said it landed two new wirehouse teams managing almost $900 million in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Chappell, a 26-year Merrill lifer, said in a prepared statement that the team began searching for a new firm two years ago, settling on Stifel because its structure and platform best fit their “client-centric model.” He did not return a call for comment to elaborate.
In Central Valley, Pa., about an hour’s drive northwest of Philadelphia, Stifel hired the Wells Fargo Advisors team of Robert Beck, Joshua Hinkle and three client associates. The pair, who were managing directors in Wells’ private client group, managed more than $500 million, according to Stifel. Beck, a registered rep for more than 35 years, declined to comment on his production metrics or motivations for switching firms.
Wells, which has elevated its recruiting deals in an attempt to replace more than 1,300 who left since its sister bank’s fake account scandal was disclosed almost four years ago, last month recruited a UBS family team of three brokers in Pennsylvania who were producing $3.5 million annually.
But it dribbled another team of three Illinois brokers in its private client group employee channel who a source said were generating $2.3 million to independence in mid-May to a large affiliate of LPL Financial.
Shane Adkins, Zach Bromley and Jay Cole, Springfield-based advisors who LPL said were managing approximately $370 million in client assets, joined Private Advisor Group, one of the broker-dealer’s largest offices of supervisory jurisdiction.
The brokers and two client associates moved out of a “desire for more independence and control,” Bromley, who worked for all of his 11-year brokerage career at Wells’s private client group, said in a prepared statement. “The freedom to do what’s best for our clients, combined with access to both brokerage and RIA, is huge.”
Cole began his registered rep as an independent agent in 1989 with The Equitable Life Insurance Society of the United States, according to his BrokerCheck history. Adkins, who began his brokerage career in 2011 at Merrill had been with Wells for five-and-a-half years.
Separately, Sanctuary Wealth, an independent broker-dealer founded by former Merrill regional director Jim Dickson, said Monday that it hired the father-son team of Reinhold and Sam Wigand. Based in Colorado Springs, Col., the pair oversaw about $115 million in assets under management, according to Sanctuary. The elder Wigand, known as Reini, worked at Merrill for his entire 22-year brokerage career prior to his move last Friday. His son, a rookie broker, has worked with his father as a registered rep since January 2019.
For St. Louis-based Stifel, which had 2,224 brokers as of March 31, including 26 hired in this year’s first quarter, the new Pennsylvania and North Carolina teams continued activity that paused in the early days of the pandemic but resumed two weeks ago with the hire of a Merrill broker in Dallas who was managing $90 million in assets.
Santaniello began her brokerage career in 1999 with Salomon Smith Barney in New York and spent the past two decades with Merrill, according to her BrokerCheck history. Neither she nor Chappell, the Thundering Herd lifer, respond to requests for comment on their move.
Beck, one of the Central Valley, Pa. brokers, became a registered rep in 1984 with Gruntal & Co. (a predecessor firm to Stifel) and worked at five other broker-dealers before joining Wells Fargo in 2001. He declined to comment when reached at his new office.
His colleague Hinkle began his brokerage career at Morgan Stanley in 2013 and moved to Wells Fargo in 2016, according to his BrokerCheck history.